|July 1, 2013|
|University of Cambridge Women’s 1st||5||Loss|
|Oxford University Women’s 1st||16||Win|
The Women’s Varsity Squad was (*denotes Blue):
Sophie Walker* (Peterhouse) [Captain]
Marilena Papadopoulou* (Trinity) [Secretary]
Petra Santini* (Lucy Cavendish)
Kadi Liis Saar* (Trinity)
Elizabeth Gorton* (Murray Edwards)
Jess Fullman* (Trinity Hall)
Ilana Goodman* (Christ’s College)
The Varsity Match
By Sophie Walker
In beautiful grass-court playing conditions the Cambridge Blues Tennis Team battled hard against Oxford but were unable to secure their fifth consecutive Varsity win.
Kadi Liis Saar, Sophie Walker and Ilana Goodman opened the singles against Oxford’s 1st, 3rd and 5th players. Saar gave a creditable performance against the Oxford number 1, but the nationally-ranked Norfolk player proved too strong for her. Meanwhile Walker engaged with Oxford’s number 3 in what was an exciting battle of the captains, but despite taking her opponent to three sets she waspipped at the post. 3-0 down and with no desire to concede any more ground Cambridge’s Petra Santini, Marilena Papadopoulou and Elizabeth Gorton stormed onto court, guns a-blazing. Santini, a brilliant new-addition to the team from Croatia and Boston University, USA, gave a commanding performance, beating the Oxford number 2 6-4 7-6. Vice-captain Papadopoulou was unable to follow suit although she certainly gave Oxford’s number 4 a run for her money, very nearly taking the second set. Gorton, who returned to the team after a year of rowing for the light blues squad, showed herself to be in fine form in spite of a year’s absence from the court. In what was a nail-biting, roller coaster of a match Gorton was unfortunate to come off court with a 7-6 4-6 7-5 loss.
Despite being 5-1 down as they came off court after day 1, the Cambridge Blues were not too down-hearted yet. Bearing in mind, that if just a few pointshad gone the other way the score might have been 3 all, it was with high spirits that the team embraced day 2. However, the necessary wins were to prove elusive. Against an unyielding Oxford team, all six Cambridge singles players were to lose in straight, albeit close, sets, unfortunately giving Oxford their first Varsity Match victory in 5 years.
11-1 down and already defeated, the Cambridge Blues could very easily at this point have conceded. Instead, however, they showed that indomitablespirit which had won them many other Varsity victories, securing as many doubles victories to tighten the score and to illustrate what a fiercely contested match this had, in reality, been. Indeed, the Cambridge team won 6 out of nine of the doubles matches, with Santini and Saar undefeated and Fresher Jessica Fullman making an excellent debut by pairing up with Gorton and beating Oxford’s 3rd pair.